Cabochon emeralds, brilliant-cut diamonds, polished 18K gold, and platinum
ELIZABETH TAYLOR AND DAVID WEBB
“My mother says I didn’t open my eyes for eight days after I was born, but when I did, the first thing I saw was an engagement ring. I was hooked,” Elizabeth Taylor once said of her fondness for all that glitters. From barely-there baubles to diamonds of tremendous size, Elizabeth Taylor loved jewelry — and it loved her. Once she discovered David Webb’s fantastically designed jewelry, it wasn’t long before she amassed her own collection, including couture pieces that he made especially for her.
I adore wearing gems, but not because they are mine. You can’t possess radiance, you can only admire it. – Elizabeth Taylor
Those personalized pieces were clearly standouts among her collection. At a 1967 press conference for Dr. Faustus, when asked about her coral, sapphire, white enamel, and gold Maltese cross brooch, Taylor responded, “It’s by David Webb. Maybe if I mention him, he’ll give me a gift.”
I’ve never thought of my jewelry as trophies. I’m here to take care of it and to love it, for we are only temporary custodians of beauty. – Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor also had a troupe of David Webb animal jewelry. A white enamel horse bracelet, a carved coral lion bracelet, and an emerald-set mythical Makara bracelet all once graced her wrist. One particular necklace made of two strands of pearls with a double-headed diamond and emerald lion clasp even made it onto the silver screen with her. In 1973’s Ash Wednesday, Elizabeth wore all her own jewelry, including her David Webb pearl necklace, matching torsade lion bracelet, and diamond and platinum hoop earrings.
Big girls need big diamonds. – Elizabeth Taylor
Her tiger brooch even found its way across the Atlantic when Taylor and Richard Burton went on a trip to Amsterdam in 1965. The two were giving a press conference at Schiphol Airport, and the tiger brooch sat snuggly on her shoulder with his enameled stripes, dangling paw, and twitching tail. The feline was safely nestled against a woman who took such pride in caring for her pieces.